Posts Tagged ‘zombies’

One Thing and Another

12 June 2010

Dear J-

There’s a hypothesis that says that while zombie movies are ascendant during Republican administrations, vampire flicks become popular during Democratic ones. The public fears the rapacious intrusion Iof big government or bloodsuckers) on one hand and the inflexible, insatiable rules (brains are delcious! taxes are bad!q) on the other. Whether or not it’s true, it leaves such luminaries as werewolves (though strangely linked to vampires as natural, mortal enemies — not just Twilight but also Underworld and probably long before that) and mummies out in the cold, so to speak.

I wonder if there’s a similar link between medical shows and cop shows on TV; one’s about the drama of healing, and the other’s caught up in the story and process of justice. It’s no doubt an oversimplification to repeat the old saw that a young conservativfe has no heart, and an old liberal, no head. What it probably means is that I watch too much TV in order to fill the awkward times. We’ve got activities around the house, but those require involvement while I could just skate by popping on the idiot box (in this century, though, there are very few actual boxes left).

The weekend isn’t officially over, but I held a wake for it today nonetheless. It started early and with great purpose, moving towards the centered self, and ended as it always seems to, frustration and trial eventually evaporating as the night grows cooler. Speaking of shows, I’ve been watching some shows I don’t typically follow, like Cold Case — like other police shows, it usually ends up with the perpetrator being marched through the station, but it’s a show that’s also filled with ghosts: the victim, finding peace at the end and finally departing. Trim away the fat and carve the flesh from the bone: what is the essence of the day?

Mike

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Zombie House

29 September 2009

Dear J-

Back ten years ago, when you could still count the number of Saturn owners (now, of course, anyone who claims to own a Saturn hasn’t actually turned it on in years, despite the unique experiences on that platform — Radiant Silvergun, Shining Force III, and of course Azel:  Panzer Dragoon Saga — it’s all being done in emulation now) and the Y2K menace wasn’t so laughable, the company I worked for converted us to hourly employees.  I’d just gotten hired at a job that billed itself as telecom engineer, being engineering in title only, and going hourly on top of that made me think that I’d have done better as a food engineer/architect at McDonald’s.

We stretched out our hours over the next year; I ended up earning fifty percent more than I would have as a salaried employee working overtime, which afforded me the opportunity to go after some of the rarer Saturn games, including The House of the Dead.  That became a self-feeding game after a while; the more I played at shooting zombies, the less sleep I got, the more hours I put in at work feeling like a zombie, so I’d spend more time shooting zombies once I got home.  Eventually I moved on to other games, but I still have a soft spot for HotD, which never got another home port (say what you will about how the sequels are superior).

There are a lot of parallels in my life ten years on, and indeed the disc sitting in the Wii is a descendant of HotD.  There’s been no time to play it, even before the expanded hours started this week I’ve felt like I’m pretending to accommodate them — the technical term is “burning the candle at both ends” — not going to bed much earlier, and getting up much earlier.  Although I can’t claim to be all that much wiser than ten years ago, I do know that I feel every little ache at 3:15 when the alarm goes off, compounded by how late it is now.

Mike

Experience Anxiety

19 December 2008

Dear J-

Is there a word for the social terror that overwhelms you at the slightest mention of a birthday party?  When I was roughly seven, any hint of impending festivities would set off natalphobia alarms in my head, to the point where I’d send my brother to face that party-hatted firing squad in my stead.  When do we decide that the outside world is a terrible place, full of suspicious strangers and folks whose only intention is to eat your brains, your delicious tender brains?  (I know, in the back of my head, that we were getting delicious cake instead but you never know what guests may be subjected to).

I don’t believe that we’re born wary; I watch figgy wave and flirt with folks, though, and it’s clear she has preferences:  not too comfortable with strange women, and not comfortable at ALL with the guy last Saturday who came up and shook her hand as she was strapped into the high chair.  She bore this last one gamely but at the extreme end of her range, scrunching into a corner of the chair.  Otherwise she’s amazingly resilient and confident; does she not know differently, or does she just not care at this point?

We mature at different rates, I guess; we learn abstractly and we learn through experience.  Birthday parties are usually filled with games, not the cannibalistic undead; but not all strangers are benign, either.  How does she learn now?  She watches with an alert keenness; she imitates, she understands simple spoken commands.  “Want to go out?” is met with her running off to fetch her socks from wherever she’s managed to fling them.  I’m torn between protection and permission; experience and exposure war with isolation and insulation, but doesn’t it just make it that much more tempting?

Mike